Australia head coach Justin Langer has jumped to the defence of captain Tim Paine who has faced criticism from several quarters for his conduct during the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Justin Langer also said that the wicketkeeper-batsman was not forced to apologise for his behaviour but was remorseful over the same.
A day after the third Test ended in a draw, Tim Paine, on Tuesday, called for an impromptu press conference and apologised for his behaviour. The Australia star admitted that his leadership wasn’t good enough and he had let the pressure affect him during the tense final day wherein Australia managed just 3 wickets before India sealed an unlikely draw.
He was heard hurling abuses at Ravichandran Ashwin, calling him dic****d at one point when the India spinner was putting up a brave fight with the bat. Tim Paine was sledging Ashwin continuously and also made some nasty remarks. And while Paine has been slammed by the cricket fraternity for his conduct, Justin Langer has thrown his support behind him.
The former Australia opener said that Paine had been a fine leader since he took over as captain from Steve Smith. Justin Langer also urged the critics to leave Paine alone, stressing that it’s humane to let the situation to get the better out of you, at times.
“He wasn’t forced to make an apology. He felt remorseful and he came to us and said he wants to get on the front foot. I really respect him for it,” Justin Langer told the media.
“For a bloke that’s barely put a hair out of line, for three years as captain of Australia … he got a bit frustrated for two minutes. The bloke is human, give him a break,” he added.
Meanwhile, the four-match series is currently locked at 1-1 and the upcoming fourth and final Test will decide the fate of the series. The last match of the series is scheduled to start on January 15 in Brisbane.
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